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What Makes A Good Wrestler?


BritFan

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Aside from the obvious physical requirements of looking like a wrestler and being quick enough, agile enough and tough enough to have reasonable matches, a really good pro-wrestler is someone who understands the need to connect with people and knows how to do it so that his matches and interviews mean something to people. A really good wrestler will also create himself an image that makes him both appealing and unique to people and promoters. A really good wrestler will work hard to mask his limitations by doing the things he's good at incredibly well.

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didnt jericho ( or maybe it was Bret) have some formula in his book, some points system, about how successful a wrestler will be? Cant remmeber it now, but it was something like points for different attributes, and if it was over 20 or something then you were destined for greatness.

 

Maybe i dreamt it...

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It was indeed A Lions Tale where he described, I believe, Hogan and Dynamite in terms of the intangibles and scored them accordingly.

 

For me personally the mark of a great wrestler is to do with execution, believability and intensity and make me care about the result of the match.

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didnt jericho ( or maybe it was Bret) have some formula in his book, some points system, about how successful a wrestler will be? Cant remmeber it now, but it was something like points for different attributes, and if it was over 20 or something then you were destined for greatness.

 

Maybe i dreamt it...

 

 

He definitely did do that, there were 3 categories -

Wrestling Ability

Look

Mic Ability

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A good wrestler is someone who understands how to manipulate the audience. Through the combination of their character, promos (if applicable), angles (again if applicable since some companies/cultures have been light on angles) and most importantly matches they manipulate the audience into reacting to them the way they want them to be it garnering their support (for a babyface) or disapproval (for a heel).

 

Kenta Kobashi is one of the most charismatic babyfaces I've seen and it all comes from that same basic principle of him understanding how to use his intensity in a way that made the audience get behind his comebacks. Some guy in your local gym could do all the same moves and get none of the reaction because he doesn't have a connection with the audience that all great babyfaces have. Be it Hulk Hogan shaking his head and pointing his finger or the numerous stories people screaming "Tap!" in support of Chris Benoit finally "realising his dream" at WrestleMania XX. Two totally different wrestlers but they both got the reaction they wanted even if they went about it in different ways the end result was the same - they manipulated the audience into cheering for them and responding to them 'winning' with approval.

 

On the heel side it is the opposite: to have someone to rally against. I think there is more variety here, probably since what annoys/angers/irritates people in one setting might not in another. Someone cutting a 1970s heel promo might get cheered in the 1990s or someone with a gimmick that was considered controversial in 1965 might be the biggest babyface in the world in 1985 but the basic principle is still the same - the point of having a 'baddie' is t you need to have the type of character that an audience responds negatively to so that they then pay money to see the hero be that winning a title from them or just beating them up. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't and you have all the more reason to hate the villain.

 

Of course occasionally you are going to get a babyface who gets booed or a heel who gets cheered but at least that shows the audience care. I've always felt it was better to get some reaction than none.

 

One hell of a physique :)

 

I'd extend that to "one hell of a look". Physique (be that being a big fat superheavyweight, a bodybuilder, a tall lanky giant, an old school beer-bellied brawler, a little skinny underdog or an old school powerhouse) is an important part of that but stuff like outfits (which can actually enhance an average physique whereas someone with a great physique but still wearing a plain outfit is still "just a guy with a good physique"), facial hair, hairstyle, facepaint, etc. are just as if not more important. Anything to make you stand out from the crowd.

 

Abdullah the Butcher is always one of the first names I think of when I think of someone with a great overall look because you can't really look at him and not remember it. He stands out from the crowd.

 

didnt jericho ( or maybe it was Bret) have some formula in his book, some points system, about how successful a wrestler will be? Cant remmeber it now, but it was something like points for different attributes, and if it was over 20 or something then you were destined for greatness.

 

Maybe i dreamt it...

 

 

He definitely did do that, there were 3 categories -

Wrestling Ability

Look

Mic Ability

 

There is no specific formula, for me in terms of needing to be at a specific level for promos or match quality. The main thing is charisma. Of those mentioned I'd say look is most important (for the reasons I gave above) but charisma trumps everything. It's nice to be good on the mike or in the ring but I think if you have enough charisma you can make up for the other things.

 

Although better than some credit him, Jeff Hardy isn't the best wrestler in the world and he's certainly not the best behind the stick either. He is very charismatic in his own way.

 

Whilst I don't think you need to be brilliant in-ring in the traditional sense I do think you need to be able to work the style you are trying to do. Getting back to Abby his matches work(ed) they gave the audience what they wanted and he got the reaction he wanted from the audience.

 

I disagree with everyone that thinks you need to be great or even very good on the mike. There have been plenty of guys and girls who have either had non-speaking gimmicks or been average on the stick (pretty much the majority of the current crop of headliners actually and it's strange that Jericho would have that criteria given that he's worked with a lot of that group of talent) that have still made it and that I'd still rate as good wrestlers.

 

Yet very few (if any) have ever made it without some type of charisma that allowed them to connect with their audience.

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Genius - I think there's always been a bit of that. Certainly for the last thirty or so years, anyway.

 

He definitely did do that, there were 3 categories -

Wrestling Ability

Look

Mic Ability

 

Getting back to the 'Promo Work' bit in a bit more detail and my point about the guys who have headlined for the past few years we'll say the last five years.

 

Whilst I've defended his 'Part 1' in working ability in the past and I think he pulls of his Marine-type look well enough to fit 'Part 2' I think Cena's promos are a big part of why he gets a negative reaction from so many. He's charismatic (which as I said I'd put over all three of Jericho's categories) but I have trouble seeing him as an all time great promo guy. He's a lot better now than he was when everyone was moaning about how "babyface rappers don't work" but he's still not exactly a Dusty Rhodes or even a Hulk Hogan I don't think.

 

Triple H has had some great promos over the years but he's also had a truckload of boring ones and some unfunny comedy ones as bad as anything Cena has done. He's inconsistent. As is Jericho himself. Same with Edge and Shawn Michaels. Even more so for Orton because you could argue that whilst he has hit the lows, he has never or very rarely hit the highs the best work from those others did.

 

Batista is someone I liked on the microphone but I'm aware a lot of people found him boring pre-heel turn.

 

I never really thought much of Mysterio's promos. Jeff Hardy was normally pretty rotten.

 

Punk was very articulate but not very interesting as a babyface. He's much better as a heel however.

 

WWE version of Flair had his moments but nowhere close to his prime stuff. King Booker was pretty funny but it was basically a one note gimmick. Umaga and Khali didn't really speak. Lashley was the pits. Shane McMahon was annoying more than anything else which is a shame since he did cut some decent promos back in the day.

 

Ziggler gets by but he's nothing to write home about. Too soon to say with Del Rio, he may or may not develop into a top promo guy at the moment he's playing a character very well.

 

I think it's safe to say that Undertaker's promos over that period are an acquired taste. I think they fit his character but I realise a lot aren't crazy about them. Depends if you think the good ones he has cut are brought down by some of the sillier ones I suppose.

 

Realistically, JBL, The Miz, Armando Estrada, Vince McMahon and Kane have probably been the most consistent top line guys in this category even if their best stuff isn't necessarily as good as the best stuff from some of the others.

 

So yeah, I don't think you need to be a great promo to headline any more than you need to be a great wrestler. You can be average at both as long as you have charisma.

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didnt jericho ( or maybe it was Bret) have some formula in his book, some points system, about how successful a wrestler will be? Cant remmeber it now, but it was something like points for different attributes, and if it was over 20 or something then you were destined for greatness.

 

Maybe i dreamt it...

 

 

He definitely did do that, there were 3 categories -

Wrestling Ability

Look

Mic Ability

 

Yeah thats was Bret Hart (i just read his autobiography) and its a great example of the guys "confidence" in himself in the book. He essentially says something along the lines of:

 

"To be a great character you need 20 points. You can have a maximum of 10 in the three categories. Obviously I have 10 in Wrestling Ability and Look... and in my humble opinion I'm probably a 7-8 in mic ability."

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